Haunted City: New Orleans Cemetery

New Orleans is an old city that’s as steeped in mystery, spirits, and voodoo as it is humidity in the summer. So in celebration of Halloween, Mike and I set off to visit the famous St. Louis Cemetery.

It's just to the north and west of the French Quarter
It’s just to the north and west of the French Quarter

Normally in New Orleans, walking around exposed to the sun and humidity will cook your brain faster than you can poach an egg. But as it is now late fall, we get gloriously overcast days. And this day was perfect for a cemetery walk. The sky was thickly clouded and rain had been threatening for hours.

Plus, it makes the photos extra creepy, no?

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Unlike the serene cemeteries of the North that have rolling green lawns and tombstones, these spaces are like tiny cities of the dead with street after tiny street of stone and brick houses for the bones and ashes of people who passed. You have to work hard to find the serenity here.

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If you’re paying attention, you’ll see that many of the dates are from the 1700s and many of the words etched in these stones are in French.

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Like a lot of New Orleans, many of the structures are in varying stages of disrepair.

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With the I-10 overpass almost directly overhead, a barbed-wire-protected RV park right next door, and a seafood plant belching fishy shrimpy stink into the air swirling with miniature tornadoes of litter and dust, it’s not an entirely pleasant place to be.

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But then, was this ever a pleasant place for a living person to be?

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I hope for the sake of the bones, ashes, and souls who linger here that it is.

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